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Medicaid Reform – close the gap

To the Editor:

Medicaid expansion or Medicaid reform may be defined as closing the (coverage) gap for persons/families that make too much money for Medicaid, yet make too little money for the Health Insurance Marketplace subsidies. Currently, these citizens have no way to get affordable insurance.  However one wishes to term it, Missouri needs to act to:

• Provide 300,000 Missourians, most of whom are working with health insurance.

• Save the lives of the 700 people who die every year in Missouri from not having health care.

• Bring over $2 billion of our tax dollars back into the state.

• Prevent rural hospitals from closing (one has closed already), which results in job cuts and loss of services for people in those communities.

• Save and create 24,000 jobs statewide.

• Make sure children have healthy parents to take care of and support them.

• Save the state $348 million from 2014-2017.

A critical point is, it is our money, and it is there for the taking.

Supporting Medicaid expansion or closing the gap is misunderstood to mean, “Tax me more so I can give it away to someone else.” This puts some legislators in a difficult position. Nowhere in the slogan does it say, “Give Missouri back our money and keep medical jobs in Missouri.”

Nearly 30 states have accepted the federal Medicaid money; Missouri has not.

But it’s not “our problem.”

Don’t forget every person who goes to the ER because they don’t have health insurance raises the cost of our health care. Who do you think pays for it?

Ed Shew

Lake Saint Louis 

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